Kaufman's municipal property tax rate will drop more than two cents for the 2020-2021 tax year, the third decrease in a row. The Kaufman City Council unanimously approved the rate after a public hearing last month. The 2021 tax rate is 82 cents per $100 valuation, down from almost 85 cents this year. Still, many taxpayers will pay slightly more property taxes because of increased valuations.In Kaufman, the average home value rose from $115,093 to $126,516. Even with the tax rate decrease, the city tax bill will go up about $63.The overall city budget is $16.3 million. Interestingly, the city calculated that city services such as police and fire protection, street maintenance, parks, animal control, and other functions cost a property owner about $86.63 per month, less than the average cable/internet bill of $100 a month. Property values throughout the county went up this year. Kaufman taxable values rose $55 million to $493 million, 12.5 percent. The city pointed out that over the last six years, property values rose almost 75 percent. The 2019 increase was 21.4 percent.Property is valued by the County Appraisal District and appraisal officials have said county growth and generally rising property values throughout the region account for the increases. The city expects to get an additional $83,048 in tax revenue, with $51,088 coming from new growth. About 53 percent of tax revenues comes from residences and 47 percent from commercial property. The school district and county also lowered their rates to help level taxes because of the increasing valuations. The school district tax rate dropped to $1.28 from $1.45 and the county rate went from 54 cents to 505 cents.About a third of the city budget is funded by sales tax, and city administration predicted it would go up by 5 percent. In a bit of good news, water and sewer rates will remain the same. City officials raisedthe rates last year because of costs from the North Texas Municipal Water District, and city officials had predicted that residents would have to pay more in 2021. But flat costs allowed for no increase, city staff noted in their budget presentation. Most employees also will receive a cost-of-living raise beginning in January. The city will continue to concentrate on capital improvement projects, the civic center and storm drainage improvements, officials said.
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